26. Carl Morgenstern

Frankfurt-am-Main 1811 – 1893 Frankfurt-am-Main

Landscape near Ariccia, c.1835

Morgenstern’s view also omits the architectural landmarks of Ariccia, focusing instead on a stretch of ‘untouched’ nature. It was probably painted in the park of the Villa Chigi, a favourite stop for Grand Tourists attracted by its wooded landscape which, according to legend, had been the goddess Diana’s hunting ground. Morgenstern’s meticulous handling of the brush captures the lush exuberance of the vegetation. Imbued with a sense of stillness, the composition opens out to the Campagna on the left in horizontal bands of colour. Born into a well-known family of Frankfurt-based artists, he initially trained with his father Johann Friedrich Morgenstern (1777–1844). After moving to Munich in 1832, he was encouraged to paint en plein air by his teacher Carl Rottmann (1797–1850) and his cousin Christian Morgenstern (cat. 45). The artist lived and worked in Italy between 1834-37, and the oil sketches he brought back from this journey would continue to inspire paintings of Italian motifs for the rest of his career, earning him a reputation as an ‘Italianist’.